FIRST IN LINE: Precinct Judge Charlie Stiver activates a  voting machine for Anngela Roberts, the first voter of the day at Precinct 5-1 at E.O. Muncie Elementary School this morning. Roberts, who was at the location well before 6 a.m. to wait in line, said she usually doesn’t vote so early, but she had training to go to in New Castle and didn’t know if she’d be home in time to vote tonight. “I didn’t want to miss my chance,” Roberts said. (Staff photos by Ken Ritchie)
FIRST IN LINE: Precinct Judge Charlie Stiver activates a voting machine for Anngela Roberts, the first voter of the day at Precinct 5-1 at E.O. Muncie Elementary School this morning. Roberts, who was at the location well before 6 a.m. to wait in line, said she usually doesn’t vote so early, but she had training to go to in New Castle and didn’t know if she’d be home in time to vote tonight. “I didn’t want to miss my chance,” Roberts said. (Staff photos by Ken Ritchie)
Absentee voting started and ended strong in Jefferson County as residents cast ballots early to help decide the outcome of the presidency, as well as numerous state and local races.

More than 13 percent of registered voters in Jefferson County cast an absentee ballot - or 2,900 of 22,052. The clerk's office recorded 1,861 walk-ins, 954 ballots by mail, 68 through the travel board and 17 via email.

Early voting in Jefferson County began Oct. 9 and ended at noon Monday, when the clerk's office reported more than 130 walk-ins during the morning.

The early voting numbers for this presidential election are slightly less than the 2008 General Election but are well above the number seen in 2004.

Four years ago, 3,250 out of the 20,942 registered Jefferson County voters - or 15.5 percent - cast an absentee ballot before Election Day. The Madison Courier reported a total county voter turnout of 65.74 percent.

By contrast, in the 2004 General Election, just more than 9 percent of registered county voters cast an absentee ballot.

Statewide, the lack of national attention has played out in early voting, which was down from 2008. The Indiana secretary of state's office reported that more than 460,000 people had voted across the state as of Friday, with the heaviest turnouts in urban Marion and Lake counties. That compares with about 516,000 who had voted by the Friday before Election Day in 2008.

Today, polling places across the state will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jefferson County will staff 26 precincts. Residents must show a photo ID before they can vote.

A full ballot and the location of polling places are available at www.madisoncourier.com under the "Local Choices 2012" section.

For election updates and results tonight, follow The Madison Courier via Twitter, Facebook or the website, www.madisoncourier.com.



The Associated Press contributed to this report.